Toward A Theory Of Fall Fuckability
This summer I did not fuck a single person. As the axis of the earth tipped toward the sun, my sex life was reduced to transactional hand brushes with baristas, and so I bought a lot of coffee and waited for the heat to break. In the summer I can’t help but see myself as a human-shaped Ziploc of raw chicken, and try as I might to configure a sensible romper or jort, the only garment that seems to make sense remains a bottle of Soy Vay marinade. From June through August my sex game is benched. By September come, my swag is turned so far off that I begin to wonder if I ever had any at all.
But then it is autumn, and with the color of the leaves my predicament changes. There is a season for everything, and fall is the season for fucking me. While much of the world prepares to go back to school, I spend September preparing to go ass to mouth. I am an inverse pumpkin spice latte, for in autumn, people from all walks of life go crazy to put themselves inside of me. This pattern has held true for as long as I have longed to be held, and while I am certainly not complaining, the question remains — why?
Nighttime is the right time, and a positivist approach holds that I have more sex in the fall if only because the sun sets earlier. A shorter day promises longer nights, and so the odds of moonlit glances shoot through the roof. This, of course, is a straw man explanation, for if length of night had any broad bearing on such things then we would not know summer, with its terse darkness, as the true season of flings. In some way, this is proof by contradiction, but of what? While other women know sex sporadically, or on a year-round basis, or at peak demand in summer or spring, it’s a certain type of person who knows she can get it in the fall.
I get nauseous over the idea that any certain biology might make anyone instinctively doomed to anything, but I’m beginning to think that I might just be a flavor of person inherently built for fall sex. The modes of sexy available to redheads are limited, and if you don’t fall within a certain range of freckled and vibrant, then you are marked with the neuter cuteness of being called ginger. I like my auburn hair and near-translucent skin well enough, but these traits do not pair well with the kind of carefree attitude that summertime sexy demands. In the heat I am uptight and constantly slathering — sunscreen on my arms and face, various serums throughout my frizzy hair. Fall makes better accommodations for people who do not feel sexy in humidity or direct sun. In fall it is cool to remember to bring a sweater, and so I do not always feel so uptight. Leaf-peeping is a $3 billion business in New England, and sometimes I wonder if my yearly coital windfall has something to do with the seasonal zeitgeist to engage with a color palette that favors deep red. In other words, around this time of year, maybe people are just more horny to sleep with someone who kinda looks like a tree.
My greatest fantasy (and I have a lot of fantasies) is that I will go away for some amount of time and when I return a friend will remark, “You’ve changed so much!” Certainly, this is a fantasy borne from a degree of self-hate, but on another level, it comes from frustration with the fact that a transformative life experience, or even the average rate of personal growth, does not necessarily transform us physically in equal measure. I think a lot about the people in the sidebar of Star magazine covers, smiling people holding light-wash jeans two or three times their body width. Stories about extreme physical transformation are almost always grounded in a linear narrative of internal growth — the deadbeat’s good character increases as his waistline wanes. He’s running in a mesothelioma fun run now, or he treats his wife better, or he has gained a wife to treat well from the start! Working in this paradigm, to be enjoyed as a changed version of yourself (even as changed in the negative direction) is to have evidence that your life is moving in any direction at all. Pockmarks on the surface of the moon prove a bazillion years of surviving collisions with asteroids. In terms of easy evidence, humans are not so lucky.
Fall is the season for reinvention. From grade school forward we are trained in the calendar rhythm of summer vacation followed by autumn homecoming. Even if, in adulthood, I don’t go anywhere or leave anything behind, September finds me preparing for a version update. In engaging the fantasy of passively changing, the fantasy of growing boobs while away at camp, I occasionally find myself changed. The fall offers significant infrastructure to support such change — back-to-school sales, September issues of magazines, the switch from shorts to pants. Though I might look fundamentally the same to others, there is something erotic about entertaining a different version of myself. Like a couple on the brink of divorce reigniting passion with a pretend affair between them, in fall I get hot for the fantasy of being with some me that isn’t me.
More often than not, the simplest solution is the likeliest one, and maybe I just look nice in sweaters.
Jamie Lauren Keiles is the last enthusiastic person in New York.